Volume 9 (2020-21)

Each volume of Journal of Brand Strategy consists of four 100-page issues, published in print and online. The articles published in Volume 9 are listed below.

Volume 9 Number 4

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Visionary brand strategies require visionary product strategies: Centring product experience is imperative
    Ryan Chen, Director of Design and Innovation Strategy and Mathieu Turpault, Managing Partner of Strategy and Design, Bresslergroup

    Consumers today are more likely to develop their own perceptions about brands instead of passively accepting brand-crafted messages. More than ever, these perceptions are developed through product experiences, placing them firmly at the centre of the brand experience (Sterling, G. [May 2018] ‘Survey surprise: 90% of consumers report being brand-loyal’, available at: https://marketingland.com/survey-surprise-90-of-consumers-report-being-b... [accessed July, 2020]). For a product company, a visionary brand strategy needs to anticipate shifting consumer behaviour to build a differentiated and durable product experience. But instead of taking the consumer into account as they plan for future innovation, too many brands find themselves reacting to different futures. Instead, companies can harness the methods and techniques of design and innovation strategy, a discipline that combines business strategy with consumer insights to anticipate and create robust strategies based on meaningful, future-driven product experiences. Megatrends, high-level trends that reflect evolving customer expectations, articulate what consumers are looking for in a brand experience — and what they will continue to look for over the next five to ten years. Analysis of these trends, combined with an understanding of emerging technologies and how they are simultaneously changing the way consumers experience products, are important drivers of a consumer-centric, future-driven approach that leverages tools such as forecasting, scenarios of the future, backcasting and visions of the future. This paper provides practical steps which brands can take to rethink their product strategy in support of a more powerful, more durable brand experience. But underlying all of these steps is a shift in mindset.
    Keywords: product experience, user experience, design and innovation strategy, forecasting and backcasting, megatrends, emerging technology, digital-physical integration

  • Why Millennials gravitate to new brands in online investing
    Carly Fink, President, Head of Research and Strategy, Provoke Insights

    Companies like Fidelity, eTrade, Charles Schwab, Saxo Bank and Vanguard have dominated the do it yourself online trading platforms since the mid-1990s. What made these platforms so popular is twofold: lower cost of commissions and accessibility. In recent years, there has been an influx of new competitors into this space. In particular, Millennial traders are gravitating to more modern platforms on the market like Robinhood, Acorns and Stash, which provide even lower commissions, more functionality and interactivity. As accessibility, ease and no-fee stock trading are no longer differentiators, but rather barriers to entry, brands need to move beyond functionality. This paper discusses how brands need to understand and research what makes a Millennial loyal to a financial institution.
    Keywords: millennials, investing, trading platforms, advertising, emotional branding, fintech

  • From sport to ‘sportainment’: The art of creating an added-value brand experience for fans
    André Richelieu, Professor Expert en ‘Sportainment’, ESG UQAM

    Sport, by itself, ceased to exist a long time ago. We are now living in the era of ‘sportainment’, the merger of sport and entertainment. On the one hand, ‘sportainment’ epitomises a major trend, or process, that is reshaping the boundaries of the industry, which aligns with Schumpeter’s ‘creative destruction’ theory. On the other hand, ‘sportainment’ is a potential strategic leverage for sport organisations and sport industry stakeholders in order to create an added-value brand experience for fans. Therefore, the objectives of this conceptual article are to articulate the concept of ‘sportainment’, identify strategic branding implications and present a set of guidelines to managers who work in the sport industry. If ‘sportainment’ can fit naturally in some cases and contribute to broadening the fan base, as well as deepening customer loyalty, in some others, finding a balance between the product on the field and entertainment can become challenging. In this vein, the article examines the four pillars that can help generate an added-value brand experience via ‘sportainment’ and how a stakeholder can deliver its brand promise through sport, spectacle and technology.
    Keywords: ‘Sportainment’, sport, entertainment, added-value brand experience, customer lifetime value, ‘creative destruction’, NBA, e-sport

  • Using human emotion as a conduit for connection in branding and advertising
    Justin Racine, Senior Commerce Consultant, Perficient

    Traditionally, advertising and marketing have been seen as ‘manipulative, deceptive, and evil’ — when commercials appear on television, people change the channel. When commercials come on the radio, people change the station to try and find music. In today’s world, the traditional model of advertising is dismissed by most consumers. There are underlying subconscious elements, however, that we cannot consciously see but can utilise within marketing and branding. The subconscious areas of the human mind can be leveraged in a way that evokes human emotion to effectively target and build a brand that consumers are proactively looking to engage with. With the introduction of social media, influencers and what I like to call ‘woke advertising’ brands are effectively using ‘emotion’ as a tool to connect with their target audience and not merely create new customers but create customers who are proactively connecting with that brand. It is this emotional connection that allows the brand to take on ‘human-like’ qualities within the eyes of the consumer and create a bond and connection that allow consumers to proactively engage with the brand and create a long-lasting emotional hook. This paper discusses how the introduction of new technology and social media allows consumers to ‘talk back’ with brands and have dialogues that create an opportunity for brands to take on human-like characteristics.
    Keywords: branding, human connection, emotional branding, advertising, customer experience

  • The growing business of slowing down: Understanding the Slow Movement in retail, hospitality and tourism
    Michelle Childs, Assistant Professor of Retail and Consumer Sciences, Eda Gokcecik, PhD Student, Borham Yoon, Assistant Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Bomi Lee, PhD Student, University of Tennessee

    In a marketplace where consumers became familiar with stimulation and acceleration, there is a growing cultural movement to slow down the pace of life and focus on meaningful and deep connections in all aspects, including with people, food, places, the environment and things. While the Slow Movement has, over time, grown to influence several industries, particularly retail, hospitality and tourism, the current global coronavirus pandemic has encouraged consumers to embrace a slower pace of life and redefine what is important to them. To understand this movement as a brand strategy, this paper outlines — on the basis of successful cases — what, why and how the Slow Movement has been and how it should be implemented. Essentially, to align with the Slow Movement philosophy, a brand’s strategy should include transparency of business practices and authenticity of strategy implementation and remain true to the pillars of the Slow Movement for brand success. While implementing these brand strategies is not without risk or challenges, differentiating with involvement in the Slow Movement may provide brands a competitive advantage in the current marketplace, stimulated by recent changes in consumer behaviour.
    Keywords: Slow Movement, local experiences, transparency in practice, authenticity in marketing, retail, hospitality and tourism

  • The impact of fake news on its sponsor’s brand trust
    Sylvia M. Chan-Olmsted, Professor, Department of Telecommunication and Communications and Yufan Sunny Qin, Doctoral Student, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida

    This study examined how fake news sponsored by brands influences consumers’ brand trust. Specifically, it explored the effects of fake news on brand trust and the factors (eg product involvement, audiences’ previous fake news experiences and media consumption) that might moderate this association. An online between-subjects questionnaire-based experiment (n = 600) was conducted with a 2 (fake/real news) × 2 (brands of high/low product involvement) design to explore the relationship between fake news and brand trust. The results showed that the difference in brand trust between fake and real news conditions was not significant. Additional analyses, however, identified a relationship between perceived news credibility and brand trust in the fake news context. In addition, the influence of news credibility on brand trust is moderated by product involvement and certain social media usage. This study suggests that fake news consumption is a complex behaviour that might not lead to the direct transfer of negative brand outcomes, as consumers might have different sensitivity levels and perceived credibility of fake news.
    Keywords: fake news, brand trust, message credibility, information trust

  • What is brand personality? A historical and prescriptive account
    Francisco J. Conejo, Senior Marketing Instructor/Researcher, University of Colorado—Denver

    Despite decades of brand personality (BP) research, recent meta-analyses/reviews highlight how this stream of inquiry still lacks a commonly accepted construct definition. Moreover, definitions generally refer to brand personification and not personality in a proper psychological sense. This lack of conceptual specificity is problematic as it confounds research and practice. The present paper addresses this definitional confusion. It offers a historical account of the BP construct with some prescriptive advice for its future use. It thereby hopes to create awareness and discussion as to what BP actually is, or ought to be. Based on how trait psychology understands personality, a new definition is suggested, BP reconceived as ‘the distinct set of human personality traits that lead brands to regard their environment in characteristic ways, and as a result, communicate and behave consistently over situations and time’. By clarifying the BP construct, this paper aims to improve research. It also hopes to benefit practice. A better understanding of BP stands to enhance segmentation, positioning and differentiation, rendering branding efforts more effective.
    Keywords: brand, personification, brand personality, definition, marketing, psychology

Volume 9 Number 3

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • The real gamble is playing the same game as your competitors
    Bruce J. Tait, Founding Partner, Tait Subler

    The essential task of strategy—particularly brand strategy—is to differentiate. But it can go wrong in many ways as managers and strategists are drawn inexorably back to category conventions. This paper argues for a more dedicated focus on differentiation and outlines important observations regarding the challenges inherent in defining such a brand strategy. It will examine a case study about successfully breaking category conventions and some principles and lessons to help the practitioner stay on course.
    Keywords: brand differentiation, brand strategy, breaking category conventions, brand relevance, how to differentiate brands

  • Ogilvy versus Aristotle: How creative briefs fail and why brand strategists should adopt a new patron saint
    Casey Jones, CEO, BriefLogic, Inc and Daniel Bonevac, Professor of Philosophy and Human Dimensions of Organizations, University of Texas at Austin

    Chief executive officers, general managers, marketers and those who strive to create compelling creative content in the pursuit of business objectives lack the kind of foundational thinking that underpins other critical business functions such as law, operations and finance. The advertising industry has failed to define what matters most in a creative brief or develop industry standards for how to identify ‘what the work should say’ so that creative teams can develop creative ways to say it. This is a systemic problem that damages the credibility of creative presentations as well as the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. ‘Messaging’ is seen as the development of statements, without thought as to how those statements should be organised to optimise their persuasive impact. The paper argues for a more reasonable and more powerful approach based on perception-shifting cases.
    Keywords: messaging, strategy, logic, perception

  • Putting your purpose into practice: Why introspection is essential for building a successful brand
    Christopher K. Bailey, President & CEO, Bailey Brand Consulting and Susan S. Selle, Chief Marketing Officer, Cornerstone Building Brands

    This paper discusses how brands must identify, embrace and act in accordance with a carefully considered purpose across all internal and external touchpoints. Generational factors have contributed to sweeping changes in the corporate ecosystem, and it is only through individual and holistic understanding of an organisation’s purpose that businesses are able to remain competitive and relevant. By aligning the entire enterprise to advance a shared vision for the future, companies can realise tangible results today and best position themselves for future success in today’s crowded, consumer-driven marketplace.
    Keywords: authenticity, brand purpose, corporate governance, identity, internal branding, relevance

  • Driving profit and doing good: The transformational power of purpose
    Markus Kramer, Managing Partner, Brand Affairs

    There is now ample evidence that organisational purpose can drive profits. It is therefore no surprise that businesses are increasingly seeing purpose transformation as a powerful way to improve their bottom line. But can purpose act as a business driver and do good at the same time? This paper explores the relationship between purpose and profit, the changing nature of competitive advantage and how purpose can act as a catalyst to sustainable market differentiation and growth. By taking a close look at the link between profit and societal good, the paper contrasts purpose-driven companies with a sector that is undergoing transformation. It argues that a purpose-driven culture can shape the very tissue that creates genuine and meaningful differentiation. A simple model offers a starting point for any company looking to more closely align purpose and profit.
    Keywords: purpose, branding, growth, differentiation, transformation, strategy, culture, society

  • Multi-brand retailer community model: How multi-brand retailers can create and manage strong brand communities
    Kate Nightingale, Head Consumer Psychologist & Founder, Style Psychology

    Department stores are struggling, yet a new breed of multi-brand retailers operating retail-as-service models are thriving. Brand communities are gaining popularity as a next differentiating factor in brand proposition, especially with direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands applying it so successfully and consumers increasingly searching for somewhere to belong, more often than not to tackle growing loneliness. Customers’ trust in brands is increasing, along with the need for brands to address various social issues, both at a local and at a wider social level. The current strategies for creating engaged brand communities, however, are not considering all these consumer behaviour shifts or the varied relationships that multi-brand retailers could incorporate to create more holistic, and therefore even more valuable, brand communities. This paper proposes a new multi-brand retailer community model with three important elements (human, local, brands) and describes strategies used to support each of them.
    Keywords: brand community, multi-brand retailer, department stores, community, customer loyalty, employee engagement

  • Building a woman’s brand through serving on nonprofit boards
    Julia Cronin-Gilmore, Professor, Bellevue University, Diana Maguire, Assistant Professor of Management, Alfred University, Jena Shafai Asgarpoor, Associate Professor of Practice and Majid Nabavi, Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

    This paper analyses building a woman’s brand through serving on nonprofit boards. Through quantitative analysis of an online survey, the study considered three constructs of building a brand through board membership in the nonprofit sector. First, the prevalence of token board members, in terms of members appointed for appearance of diversity as well as members who serve only due to a corporate requirement. Second, the study examined the prevalence of and motivations for recruitment of younger board members to build their brand. Third, the study questioned whether engagement of board members may correspond with physical presence at meetings.
    Keywords: building a woman’s brand, women in nonprofit leadership, tokenism, younger board members, governance from afar, partially distributed boards, career advancement

  • Cause-related marketing in a polarised global marketplace
    Bridgitte Kiprop, PhD Candidate, International Business and Leila Samii, Assistant Professor, Southern New Hampshire University

    The purpose of this paper is to explore what cause-related marketing campaign strategies corporations are using to address social concerns polarising society in more recent times. Using a case study analysis approach a conceptual discussion and a framework are presented that show four different viewpoints on cause-related marketing campaign strategies and how corporations are using them to build trust while addressing the various polarising issues. The more explicit corporations are in taking a stand on polarising social issues, the greater the psychological bond they create, which, hence, elicits the active engagement of both their consumers and employees to undertake social causes; however, undertaking to support social causes can be a risky strategy and managers need to ensure congruity between the partnership for social causes and the power of the message conveyed to its consumers. Availing such opportunities to engage in social causes at work has the added benefit of attracting and retaining good employees, giving the corporation greater credibility and boosting its corporate brand image.
    Keywords: cause-related marketing, brand equity, corporate brand, consumer trust, polarised brands, corporate social responsibility

Volume 9 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Practice papers: Winning against a dominant brand
    David Aaker, Vice Chair of Prophet and Professor Emeritus, Berkeley-Haas School of Business

    The successful e-commerce-first brands competing against Amazon provide a road map for any firm going against a dominant player in any category. These brands engage in strategic jujitsu by exploiting Amazon’s vulnerabilities — an impersonal/functional image, being the everything store without in-depth credibility in anything, and often having the personality of a-powerful giant lacking humour or warmth. Strategies that work include developing credibility for their subcategory, a simpler choice set, a brand community, a higher purpose, a personal touch, being the feisty underdog, positioning to highlight advantages and expanding the distribution footprint by adding storefront synergies.
    Keywords: underdog brands, e-commerce strategies, dominant brands

  • Competencies-driven development: Focusing on key skills for communicators in a quickly converging consumer environment
    Tracie Haas, Vice President Corporate Responsibility, Brand and Communications, AbbVie

    Professional development for communicators needs to be revisited through the lens of the digital world in which we operate. Every day, new ways of engaging with consumers are added to the marketing mix, and the worlds of marketing and communications are quickly converging. What matters to the business is the impact brands make irrespective of the internal functions driving execution. An individual’s ability to keep the pulse on the external world, have the courage to focus on the right things and ultimately generate measurable impact defines their success in this world and illustrates the communicator of the future. To guide the development of these communicators, AbbVie’s Corporate Responsibility, Brand & Communications (CRBC) competency framework includes specific skills rooted in a simple three-pronged model: know the context, prioritise and align and drive impact. Ultimately, the up-levelling of talent is bolstered by the need to redefine communications, accommodate increasingly interconnected functions and achieve success in advancing brand objectives and protecting business reputation.
    Keywords: communications, integration, business, framework, brand, marketing mix

  • The importance of being not too earnest: Creativity in the boardroom
    Gordon Euchler, Head of Planning, BBDO Germany and Nils Liedtke, Senior Expert, McKinsey & Company

    Strategy has become ever more analytic, digital and data driven. Creativity is often a mere afterthought — only allowed to paint the products or services that were developed analytically. This paper argues that creative masterminds should take their rightful place in the boardroom and inspire companies for more imaginative and successful strategy. With three examples — T-Mobile, Volvo and O2 — we show how creativity can help to set the strategy, define the market and make products better.
    Keywords: creativity, strategy, marketing, creative strategy

  • Bridging brand and experience design
    Adrian Ho, CEO and Founding Partner, Zeus Jones

    While true, the idea that brands are defined by experiences masks a complex set of dynamics that dramatically affects the development of branded experiences. This paper explains the different evolutions of branding and experience design to show how the converged field of brand experience design inherits ideas from each former discipline in non-intuitive ways. The central shift in thinking is that experiences are defined by brands rather than the other way around. A strong brand — one with a clear and compelling purpose, one with a clear set of emotional associations — is essential for a strong brand experience; therefore, branding practitioners and designers must strengthen their brands in order to deliver powerful brand experiences. Contrary to popular opinion, experiences by themselves will do little to strengthen a weak brand. In addition, this paper presents a set of concrete tools and techniques to help brand experience designers build this new thinking into their work.
    Keywords: branding, experience design, value, convergence, digital disruption, culture change

  • The use of timing to increase personalisation, message impact and response rate
    Tony Rizzo, Chief Marketing Officer, Marquis Software Solutions

    The purpose of this quantitative experimental study was to understand if the use of marketing automation utilising transaction recency compared to a mass-market approach generated statistical significance and an increased response rate. To answer this question, direct mail was used as an instrument to test this hypothesis. The study contained a sample of individuals from nine participating financial institutions. Each participant received one of two direct mail treatments, containing either time personalisation or no time personalisation. Evidence of a statistically significant relationship was found between time personalisation and consumer response, χ2 (1, N = 43,581) = 25.16, p < 0.001. The effect size for this finding, Phi, was small, 0.024. In this analysis, there was a statistically significant association between time personalisation and consumer response. The time personalisation response rate was 1.56 per cent versus a 0.99 per cent response rate for the no time personalisation treatment. Time personalisation of a communication was statistically associated with consumer response within the financial services direct mail marketing channel. This has implications for the marketing professional seeking methods for increasing customer engagement, brand affinity and profit while utilising the bank’s on-premise data and marketing automation tools.
    Keywords: marketing automation, direct mail, personalisation, financial services

  • The state of the creator economy
    Ryan Schram, Chief Operating Officer, IZEA

    The `State of the Creator Economy’ research initiative provides an in-depth view of how the maturation of social media and other industry-relevant changes have affected consumers, marketers and creators. This marks the eighth year of the study, which aims to provide ongoing measurement of and insight into how influencer marketing (IM) and content marketing are both perceived and used. It offers information necessary to better understand the shifting trends in marketing strategies, consumer behaviours and creator habits. The study, commissioned by IZEA Worldwide, was conducted in partnership with Research Now, The Right Brain Consumer Consulting and Lightspeed GMI. It leads the charge for the industry, providing an independent lens through which readers can view the current marketing landscape -- content marketing and IM in particular -- from the viewpoint of consumers, marketers and creators. Researchers surveyed 606 client marketers from Research Now’s B-to-B National Panel, 242 IM and content marketing creators from the IZEA database of partners and 1,000 consumers sourced from Lightspeed GMI’s Domestic U.S. Panel.
    Keywords: influencer marketing, creator economy, consumer behaviour, marketing message, marketing strategies, content marketing

  • The evolution of naming rights agreements in the United States
    Tim McGhee, Founder, MSP Sports & Entertainment

    Companies have used naming rights of sports venues in the United States for over a century. Up until approximately 30 years ago, sponsors utilised these investments almost exclusively for building brand awareness. More recently, marketers that have invested in naming rights opportunities have utilised the platform provided by these high-profile venues to create fully integrated marketing programmes. This paper, through several examples as well as a case study, outlines the various objectives a sponsor seeks to achieve through their naming rights agreements. In addition to the significant branding afforded sponsors that affix their name to a venue, naming rights can also provide a showcase for a company’s technology as well as a means to drive significant revenue either directly or indirectly from the rights holder. By tracing the evolution of naming rights sponsorships, a reader can see why they are typically the most expensive marketing expenditure a company will make with a rights holder.
    Keywords: sponsorships, naming rights, sponsors, venues, marketing expenditure, branding, sports marketing

  • Research paper: Firearms, brass knuckles...and Instagram: Intended and unintended influence of social media advertising
    Valerie K. Jones, Associate Professor and Ming (Bryan) Wang, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Understanding the influence of social media advertising is critical to brands today. This study explores how Instagram advertising from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), largely featuring confiscated weapons, influences attitudes towards the brand and, unintentionally, towards gun control. A between-groups online experiment found that brand attitudes were not influenced, but light crime show viewers and video game players exposed to TSA’s Instagram content showed higher support for gun control than heavy violent crime show viewers and video game players. This research provides practical insight into how a government agency brand communicates with the public subject to its services. It also has theoretical implications, extending priming and desensitisation literature in exploring the relationship between violent social media images, prior exposure to violent media and gun control attitudes and, ultimately, suggesting that brand social media content can unintentionally influence attitudes towards social issues.
    Keywords: social media, Instagram, branding, social issues, gun control, priming, desensitisation

Volume 9 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Case study: Improving campaign performance using purpose marketing: Case study of Run For The Oceans
    Christoph Kullnig, VP of Marketing, Anja Obermüller, Head of Product Marketing and Katherine Aichhorn, Content Product Owner, Runtastic

    The importance of purpose-driven marketing has risen to new heights in the last few years. At Runtastic we did not simply want to follow a trend, but rather to play a pivotal role in shaping what such marketing looked like and what level of impact it could have. Building on our past effort into our annual Run For The Oceans campaign, we aimed to give this campaign and its essential cause — raising awareness of the marine plastic pollution crisis — an unprecedented level of importance in terms of our purpose marketing efforts, striving to create an impact far greater than we ever imagined possible. This paper outlines where we began, what measures we took to increase our scale and reach and how the outcome exceeded our wildest expectations. It is a study of the degree to which purpose marketing and corporate social responsibility matter to consumers in this day and age and how user engagement can be greatly improved by recognising the value consumers/users place on such topics.
    Keywords: purpose marketing, mobile marketing, app store optimisation, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, user engagement

  • Practice articles: Financial engineering can destroy brands, but there is a way forward
    Larry Light, Chief Executive Officer, Arcature

    Financial engineering can destroy brands. Financial engineering erodes brand trust, which takes time to rebuild. Effective, proactive brand management can breathe life back into broken brands. As the examples of Olive Garden and RH show, there are basic, fundamental actions that brand leaders must execute to put brands back on track for enduring profitable growth.
    Keywords: brand, financial engineering, high quality revenue growth, marketing, value extraction, value creation, Olive Garden, RH

  • Pandora’s box? The promise and peril of branded content partnerships
    Winfried Daun, Group Head of Advertising, Brand Strategy and Media and Sven Schäfer, Head of Advertising and Content Marketing, UBS

    Branded content has long been an essential instrument in Marketing’s toolkit, as it allows companies to inform and entertain and, most importantly, engage their audiences in ways that traditional advertising rarely does. While proprietary content activities require organisations to invest heavily into editorial resources and processes, the co-creation of content with an established publishing brand is an alternative approach that many brands have started utilising in the past few years. These branded content partnerships, often referred to as native advertising, offer considerable benefits, including the content credibility of a legacy editorial brand, as well as its storytelling, production and distribution capabilities. Journalists and researchers alike have emphasised the risks posed by such a collaboration, as it threatens to blur the boundary between editorial and advertising content and lead to an audience’s negative perception of both content sponsor and editorial partner. Much less attention has been paid to the operational challenges that brand practitioners are faced with when producing branded content, particularly when partnering with a media house. On the basis of more than a dozen bespoke native content projects developed with leading editorial brands such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, this paper summarises potential pitfalls along the entire value chain, from original content development to questions of brand visibility and editorial support to active promotion and distribution of the content. In light of the increasingly broad creative offering from media houses and their direct collaboration with advertising clients, the paper concludes by investigating potential risks of disintermediation posed to traditional creative and media planning agencies.
    Keywords: brand journalism, native advertising, content marketing, brand strategy, financial services

  • Trust-based marketing leadership: What senior leaders should be focusing on during brand plan reviews
    David Davidovic, President, pathForward

    Virtually every marketing team, in every company and in every industry, goes through the yearly, if not more frequent, ritual of developing and presenting its business/marketing plans to its executive team. This process can involve considerable time and expenditure. In very many cases, executives’ own blind spots of their role in the process can have a host of negative consequences for the quality of the plans themselves and, just as importantly, for the motivation and engagement of the team. When leaders second-guess the work done by expert and dedicated teams or use the ritual as an opportunity to micromanage or grandstand, there can be many consequences, some of which are outlined in this paper. This paper discusses ways to make it right, and offers a number of tips for leaders to consider as they manage and conduct brand strategy and plan reviews. The current author believes that embracing some or all of these tips will result in not only better plans, but also more engaged and motivated teams.
    Keywords: brand plan, strategic plan, marketing plan, engagement, culture, motivation, plan review

  • Why brands looking to stand out should look to stand-ups
    Leigh Kessler, VP of Marketing and Communications, CharityEngine and Steven Robins, Managing Partner and Principal, NECG

    The authors met when they were both standup comedians, and they soon realised that they also had branding in common. After spending their adult lives achieving success in both, they have concluded that they are essentially the same thing. That is what this paper is about. Whether you are branding yourself as a stand-up or your self, product or service for business purposes, if you can communicate your unique capability and your passion to innovate around that capability, and if there is a demand in the marketplace for that capability (whether the market knows it yet or not), you have a formula for success. But if you cannot articulate and communicate it in a clear and confident voice that feels unique, authentic and desirable, then you cannot transcend the noise to even be considered by your buying audience. Stand-ups understand better than anyone else how to deliver a unique, differentiated message around their authentic passion and capabilities. It certainly applies to Jerry Seinfeld and Aziz Ansari, #7 and #49, respectively, on Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 50 Stand-up Comedians of all Time (Love, M. (2017) ‘50 best stand-up comics of all time’. And it also applies to ‘Wow’ ideas with billion-dollar valuations and carefully calculated grabs of market share that facilitate incremental growth — like Dollar Shave Club and BioTrue Contact lens solution. All four are market leaders who broke out by adhering to an authentic and differentiated offering driven by passion and capability. This paper explores how.
    Keywords: comedy, humour, stand-up, Seinfeld, branding, authenticity, voice

  • Research papers: Esport sponsorship: Practitioners’ perspectives on emerging trends
    David J. Finch, Professor, Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University, Gashaw Abeza, Assistant Professor, Towson University, Norm O’Reilly, Professor and Director, International Institute for Sport Business & Leadership, University of Guelph and Anthony Mikkelson, Research Assistant, Mount Royal University

    This paper aims to explore emerging trends in Esport sponsorship from the perspective of the industry’s practitioners. A series of expert interviews were conducted with two expert groups in the Simulated Professional Sports (SPS) genre of the Esport industry: property executive and sponsorship executives. Findings outline six emerging trends in Esport sponsorship: the generational challenge, the SPS community’s bond, converging SPS digital assets and sponsorship, authenticity and SPS sponsorship, endemic and non-endemic sponsorship, and the potential of Esport athletes. Theoretical and practical implications as well as suggestions for future research are provided.
    Keywords: video gaming, electronic sports, simulated professional sports, Twitch, League of Legends

  • To market, to market: How creative treatments of in-store branded content impact sales
    Joann Sciarrino, Director and John Prudente, Research Associate, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, Moody College at University of Texas at Austin

    This paper explores the effect of creative treatments for in-store branded content (also known as branded entertainment) on beer and wine sales for 48 campaigns across 85 grocery outlets. The effectiveness of creative treatments for in-store, at-shelf branded content, has been little researched. Study 1 measured test brand sales of in-store, at-shelf branded content versus same brand sales for no in-store, at-shelf branded content (control). Study 2 utilised factor analysis to uncover the underlying dimensions of the creative treatments for the test brands. Study 3 utilised partial least-squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) to assess the importance and contribution of creative treatments on sales of the test brands during the campaign period. Data reveals that, despite the crowded visual environment of grocery retailers, in-store, at-shelf branded content for selected beer and wine brands had significantly higher sales versus the pre-campaign or control condition, with the creative treatments of empathy, emotion and message, film quality and local/sustainable garnering the strongest positive imputed relationships to sales.
    Keywords: branded content, product promotion, point of purchase, digital out of home video, retail marketing